Patrick Dempsey recently said that the upcoming eighth season of Grey's Anatomy is likely going to be his last. But is there any chance he could be back beyond that?
He didn't sound like it when he said that leaving would be “bittersweet because it’s been great and a great part of my life, but I can’t see me doing it anymore.”
Still, a rep for the actor backtracked a bit late yesterday.
"He was referring to the fact that his contract is up at the end of next season and we have no idea what the future holds," Dempsey's rep tells E! News.
So while there's still the possibility that Dempsey will hang up his stethoscope in 2012, especially if Ellen Pompeo packs it in, nothing is set in stone yet.
"No one has asked us to come back after season eight, so I couldn't presume that I'm coming back... if I haven't been invited," Pompeo said last week.
The long and short of it is that the original cast is only under contract through May 2012. Beyond that, a new deal must be offered - and agreed to.
The show certainly has a lot of characters at this stage, but are Derek and Meredith (and Cristina, among others) crucially central to Grey's Anatomy?
Put another way, would the show lose viewers without them? Or would newer stars be able to step in and carry the baton for many seasons to come?
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